After Gary Oldman reportedly passed on the role, Ken Watanabe (an actual Japanese person!) has been offered the part of The Colonel in the remake of Akira.
The fine folks at Twitch dropped the news, and they also point out that Watanabe’s work in the United States has all been through Warner Bros. so the partnership makes a lot of sense. What doesn’t exactly make sense is why they didn’t go to him first. His profile is fairly high after so many years in the spotlight, especially after coming through strong in Inception.
What also still doesn’t make sense is why all the characters are keeping their Japanese names while being completely white bread. If everyone signs on the dotted line and Watanabe ends up calling Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart by the names from the Manga (while they simply call him The Colonel), it’s going to sound more than a little bizarre.
Hooray for Americanized remakes!